I recently accepted the challenge to step into the role of Goneril in a production of King Lear. The actress playing the part was rushed to hospital with a gall bladder emergency and there were two weeks of shows left.
After one quick rehearsal I found myself, script in hand, in front of the audience doing what Goneril does best – shouting at her father and husband and wailing over her dying lover.
As a voice artist I’m used to “projecting” my voice approximately 6 inches to my microphone. Now, here I was in a theatre with dodgy acoustics and hard-of hearing audience members. The director, as well as several cast members warned me, “You really have to project in this theatre.” With seven shows ahead I wondered how I would survive recording my voice projects during the day and “projecting forcefully” at night.
Luckily, my friend Mike (playing the king) recommended his favourite throat lozenges to me. He told me he had started to feel a gland swell up like a hedgehog in his throat one night and was afraid he’d lose his voice. Sucking on Vocalzone had restored his throat and voice in a matter of hours.
I got myself some and I have to say these things are amazing! Not sure if it’s the licorice, the myrrh or the peppermint/menthol/vegetable carbon, but these little black pastilles have a magical effect on over-worked vocal chords. Plus the packaging includes writing in braille in case your voice and eyes are both feeling strained!